Alternative bear plan


Posted: Friday, February 09, 2001

I have lived here for 55 years and have been with the bear, seen the bear and hunted bear. After all this time and the population of people growing from 5,000 or so to the 30,000 we have today, here is an idea of how to make the situation pay for itself:

Increase the fines levied by the city to a level where people really will cooperate. This will take care of the "people problem" of attracting the bear to our garbage.

Provide bear-proof garbage containers where need be. These would be bought and paid for by those who live in areas frequented by bear if the people are not taking adequate care of the garbage they produce. Usually, rinsing containers, bags, paper, etc. with cold water will remove the odors.

For those reluctant bear that still refuse to make their way in the forest, we build and staff a two- or three-species zoo. (I don't know what other species we would have there.) This enclosure would be built in the downtown area accessible to tourists on foot. It could be built on the Native Corporation land (are they interested in taking this on?) next to the library-parking garage or possibly in a new facility on the lot where the Police Department was on Franklin and Marine Way. Also, an aviary could be included and operated by the Raptor Center Group that takes care of injured birds.

The offending bears are tranquilized or trapped in a big culvert trap and entered into the zoo. (Note: No firearms are involved.)

The zoo is opened to the public (tourists) for a small fee ($1-$2 a person. Keep the price low to bring them in).

Sell the captured bear to other zoos.

When we cannot do that, make sure the bear is healthy and then butchered for its meat. While the bear is in captivity:

Don't feed the bear fish.

A friend tells me that they use beer in the feed for beef cattle in Japan to make the meat tender. This would possibly make the meat more palatable for eating.

The meat is then distributed to Helping Hands, the Food Bank, St. Vincent DePaul and the Glory Hole for consumption with the warning that it needs to be cooked well done like pork to rid it of trichinosis.

The fur-skin is given to craftspeople to tan and make souvenirs for sale.

Last but not least make arrangements through the Department of Fish and Game to sell the gall bladders to people in the Far East for whatever it is they use them for. I know this is illegal, but the law could be changed for this purpose.

My guess is that we would have several bear during the first few years but certainly no lack of supply. It would help those in need of food as well as take care of our problems with the bear.

Deacon Gary Horton


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